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Get Her Look – Marilyn Monroe

February 19, 2010

Millions of women worldwide have doubtless tried to ‘makeup like Marilyn’ at least once. I know I have. From about the age of 14, when I fell in love with the world’s most beautiful Hollywood goddess, I searched for the perfect picture to copy her look.

And now, over two decades later, I think I’ve finally found it!

This beautiful image, by acclaimed photographer Alfread Eisenstaedt was taken in 1953, around the time of filming of our ultimate Bombshell movie, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Its beauty is in its naturalness – but Marilyn’s trademark make-up is still there, just a subtler version perhaps?

There are more images from this series (below) and you can see in one of those her lips appear a deeper red.

We’ll be testing red lipsticks later, but to get this look we’d suggest a coral instead of an obvious bold red – we love i.d.cosmetics Scarlet i-pout – a corally-red (£13, much more wearable for many who find deep red a challenge!

As a teenager I was always trying to perfect those eyes. It does appear that Marilyn has no eyeshadow on at first glance, but it is there – just very subtly.

The best way to achieve the Marilyn eye is to use two shades – a light brown/beige and a pale cream, or peach colour.

Try an eyeshadow duo like Estee Lauder’s Michael Kors Blonde Mink due, which has a deeper brown and a lovely shimmery beige. Sweep the beige across the eyelid, and then take the deeper brown and put it into the crease of the eye, blending it away towards the middle.

Marilyn’s brows are perfect, and much lighter then her lashes – a brilliant product for your brows, and to add a little highlighter under them to achieve the arch Marilyn has is Clinique’s newest brown pencil, Instant Lift for Brows (£12.50, that we previewed on here a few weeks ago. Marilyn would have gone for the Soft Blonde shade, and after filling in her brows, used the highlighter to emphasise the arch and heighten the eye.

Her eyes draw you in to these images, not least because of the subtle yet striking make-up. Try any liquid eyeliner, and start at the outer edge, and with a steady hand take it to the socket corner. If you want to soften things, use a brown instead of a black, but follow through with the same shade of mascara.

We love Nars Eyeliner Stylo, which comes in Nabucco (Brown) and Nuits Blanches (Black) (£18,

Marilyn wore false lashes a lot, like many movie stars of her time. In the 21st Century there are so many mascaras out there that give the effect of false lashes it’s not always necessary.

As it’s a false lash effect we’re after, we recommend YSL Mascara Singulier (£21.50,, which really does make your lashes very long and adds volume too. To achieve Marilyn’s come hither eyes, concentrate the mascara application to the outer lashes.

Foundation wasn’t readily available to the everyday woman in the 1950s, but there were some on the market. Many women preferred just to use a face cream and a powder. We know that Marilyn used Elizabeth Arden’s Pat a Crème  – as this was found amongst her possessions after she died in 1962 and is now owned by the Marilyn Monroe Collection.

Today she might have progressed to Arden’s Ceramide Plump Perfect Make Up (£27,, which is a medium cover makeup, suitable for dry skin that we know Marilyn had.

To finish, a sweep of a light coral blusher over the cheeks gives that healthy glow that Marilyn radiates from these beautiful images. Try another Estee Lauder Michael Kors product – the gorgeous Sunset Coral blush (£23).

Marilyn’s nails are painted a coral red here – we love a coral on the nail, and there isn’t one much better out there than Revlon’s One Perfect Coral nail enamel (£6.29,

And however much you may be tempted; we think we’ll leave the beauty spot to Marilyn, as it was hers after all!

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